2 c. buttermilk
1 tbsp. hot sauce, plus more for serving
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. catfish fillets
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
In a large bowl or Ziplock bag, combine buttermilk, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Add catfish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.
In a large shallow bowl, whisk to combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Remove one catfish fillet from buttermilk mixture and lightly shake to remove excess buttermilk. Dredge in cornmeal mixture and place on a baking sheet or large plate. Repeat until all catfish is dredged.
Fill a large pot or Dutch oven halfway with vegetable oil. Heat over medium until oil reaches 350°, then fry catfish in batches until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Remove to a paper towel–lined plate and season with salt immediately. Serve with hot sauce and lemon slices.